Twitter and Journalism – Potential coexistence?

The debate about whether Twitter and blogging are taking over traditional news sources is all over the blogosphere. The implications of new media on the news industry have remained prevalent in discussion and caused a divide in opinion. However in the dichotomy that this debate has created, it seems that many people are overlooking the other features these platform offer to the news industry.

Microblogging may be increasing citizen journalism, but professional journalists use twitter equally effectively. Journalists are able to use Twitter and other networks to crowd source ideas and stories; they use it to gain an audience and a following and to promote their published works; they use it to network, to find and connect with sources.

The Twitter Debate is so busy arguing efficiency vs. reliability it overlooks a potential value in coexistence. Traditional media is known. It is dependable. If you need a reliable emergency news update you listen to the ABC the “emergency broadcaster”. People are still willing to pay for what they consider to be valuable content. Johnson states that the compilation of news sources accumulated by shared links in your social network feed “will lead to more news diversity and polarization at the same time”. People are still wary of the reliability of the information accessible through non-traditional sources. Rightly so, the cases of incorrect information being sourced from Twitter are numerous and widely known: mistakes, hoaxes, misinformation.

The media process is a ‘process’; now more than ever. It doesn’t allow for a completed story. It relies on updates, it provides more information, it allows a sharing of links and ideas, and facilitates informed conversation. The technology allows information, facts, updates, pictures to be shared widely. Professional and citizen journalists, and the audience benefit from the coexistence of the reliability and ethical standard of legacy media and the quick sharing and conversation of new media like Twitter. A survey by PEW Research Centre shows that “Facebook and Twitter are now pathways to news” rather than sources of news.

While Twitter allows a huge following of people to gain headline knowledge of a variety of news updates, its 140 characters don’t leave much space for an investigative exposé.


9 thoughts on “Twitter and Journalism – Potential coexistence?

  1. Twitter and Journalism are actually already coexistence, you can see most of the news media also have Twitter account and occasionally post their new link on Twitter. News media dependent on advertising to gain money, so you can still can a little related advertising on the online news report, and as you said people are willing to pay for valuable content there still some content such as job board and discussion in printed news make people think it is worth to spend money on news. Up to this point I must say this post need more reflection, like your opinion rather than plain information, I am sorry if that offence you.

  2. I agree, why not have both? Twitter itself could never overtake traditional news, by nature it is has too little of a word limit for proper information and relies on linking, but is very useful for as you say quick updates. Earlier this year the wall did a blog on why YouTube might overtake traditional news, based off a TED talk, and uses the war in Syria as an example.

  3. I can’t help but be reminded of that Old El Paso ad by this post; “Perche no les dos?” (Apologies for my poor Spanish spelling.) Professional Journalists are beginning to realise the inherent nature of their Citizen counterpart. Once we lived in a time where we simply listened to the wireless or watched a black and white TV. This period was short lived. No sooner had broadcast been invented that people began seeking ways to express their opinions on the matters at hand. Even talk-back-radio, for instance. It’s human nature to desire to contribute to the collective wealth of knowledge. How many of us check to see if someone has ‘liked’ our Facebook status or ‘favourited’ our tweet? We seek validation for our opinions and Citizen Journalism, in my opinion, has evolved from that.
    An interesting article by Kate Bulkley, ‘The rise of citizen journalism’ (, discusses how Citizen Journalism benefits several aspects of the Professional industry. For example, she claims that new avenues are opened up by social networks which allow new opportunities for current affairs to explore. “You can make the most amazing films using content from social networks.”
    The time for change is upon us, now it’s sink or swim.

  4. I largely agree with your point that we must be careful with what we choose to believe on these platforms on journlism. While I definitely agree that they (twitter) are great influences on today’s journalism, and the source in which I personally get most of my news, fact can definitely be misconstrued. This could boil down to false recount, hoax, bias, or even desire for popularity. Take for example the coverage of the Boston bombings – the citizen journalism there was a mess!

  5. I think that the coexistance of traditional media Twitter that you discuss, provides mutually beneficial relationships; Social media freely circulates and promotes traditional media content, while the incorporation of social media in industrial media provides real-time insight and experiences, adding invaluable content to their stories. I agree with Jay Rosen when he says that the two “are in love” ( or at least they need to be in order to both prosper in the media environment.

  6. Oh I didn’t think about that, you’re right. I think twitter like all forms of social media as become another outlet, which is handy when wanting to get information. Think about how you can link everything to everything. Twitter to blogs to Facebook to instagram to linkedin and those are just a few. This makes it awesome for journalists as through these connections they are reaching different audiences or followers and through all of these links it makes it seem infinite.

  7. I definitely feel that the questionable value of “news” on social networking sites is why citizen journalism is so controversial. But no matter how you receive your news, it will always be biased to some degree. I think we have to keep in mind when reading something online that yes, we do need to question it’s credibility, and look further into the issue if necessary. However, when I see a post on Facebook or Twitter, I automatically view the information purely as public opinion – not legitimate “news” (in the traditional sense), and seeing the different perspectives coming from everyday people is still something I find worthwhile, whether you agree with it or not.

    In comparison to print and broadcast media, I feel there is more pressure on society to believe every spoken/written word, just because it came from a professional journalist in the giant media industry. I would just as likely question their credibility – you are only limited to the information they give you, with this whole notion of the “gatekeeper”. This article demonstrates the editorial processes with regard to print and broadcast media bias

  8. I believe that Twitter and Journalism can definitely co-exist. In fact, I think that this is how it should be. I think that Twitter is better for breaking news and print and online journalism is better for getting depth. Check out this article by the American Journalism Review: It’s a worthwhile read and goes well with your discussion.

  9. Your post presents good arguments on the whole debate of Twitter and Journalism. I think that social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook have become great ways in which people can communicate about global news in a faster and easier method than say reading the newspaper. I agree with your statement that microblogging can be increasing citizen journalism but the fact that actually journalists from news anchors also use Twitter to express ideas and news coverage. Your blog post was a great read in tying up the weeks topic and expressing the perks of having social media for people to share stories.

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